More shoppers are starting their online search on Amazon

Most shoppers check Amazon first
Most shoppers check Amazon first

More shoppers are turning to Amazon over Google as their starting point.

Roughly 55 percent of consumers begin their online shopping searches on Amazon's site, according to a new study by BloomReach. That's up 11 percentage points from last year, when the data technology firm ran its inaugural study.

Meanwhile, 28 percent of people said they start their hunt on a traditional search engine, down from 34 percent last year; only 16 percent make another retailer's site their first stop.

Even when shoppers find a product they want on a retailer's page, roughly 90 percent said they'll still compare Amazon's selection or prices. Most often, consumers cited the ease of shopping on Amazon — including its "superior" search and product filtering capabilities — as the reason they went to the site.

BloomReach based its results on a survey of 2,000 consumers over Labor Day weekend.

"Amazon continues to be the first destination when consumers want to find a product," Jason Seeba, head of marketing at BloomReach, said in a press release.

Amazon's grip on American shoppers is expected to carry into the winter holidays, with roughly 94 percent of respondents saying they plan to shop there. Members of its growing Prime service are particularly loyal, as they try to maximize the value of their $99 subscription fee and free shipping promise.

Yet just because shoppers gravitate toward the site doesn't mean they'll make a purchase.

A majority of respondents said other retailers are better at tailoring their websites and product recommendations than Amazon. Roughly one in five consumers said counterfeit products are their main concern with shopping on Amazon, according to BloomReach.

The retailer has recently grabbed headlines regarding concerns about counterfeit goods on its third-party marketplace, which prompted Birkenstock's decision to remove its products from the site.

Still, Forrester estimates Amazon accounted for roughly 60 percent of all online sales growth in the U.S. last year. It's widely expected to extend its lead over traditional retailers on the web this holiday.

All in, eMarketer anticipates digital sales will increase 17 percent in November and December, to $94.7 billion, accelerating slightly over last year's 16 percent growth. That should push online sales to more than 10 percent of overall retail revenues for the first time, the research firm said.